Tania Bruguera (born 1968 in Havana, Cuba) is a Cuban installation and performance artist. Bruguera studied at the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana and then earned a Masters Degree in Fine Arts in performance from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Bruguera's work pivots around issues of power and control, and several of her works interrogate and re-present events in Cuban history.
Her 1998 work The Burden of Guilt (El peso de la culpa) was the artist's take on a story that indigenous people in Cuba vowed to eat dirt and nothing else rather than be the captives of the Spanish conquistadors. Bruguera interpreted their act of eating dirt as "a weapon of resistance." In her performance, Bruguera stood, naked, with a lamb carcass hanging from her neck, creating both a physical and symbolic burden. For 45 minutes, she consumed soil mixed with water and salt representing tears. As Edward Rubin described it, "The harrowing piece was first performed in Havana, where the audience was duly reminded that freedom, liberty and self-determination are not abstract ideals, but achievements that deeply inscribe their meaning on our physical being.
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